I concocted this last night after being done with this horrible Spring weather that Fairbanks has been doling out to us. I really needed something to warm me up from the inside and I figured this soup would do the trick. On my way home, I envisioned the ingredients that I was craving and the recipe quickly came together in my head. My husband ended up eating two bowls for dinner and in my world that means it was a successful recipe. Also, I didn’t get the “I wouldn’t ask for it again” comment that I tend to get when I am feeling particularly creative. Give a try for yourself and let me know how it works for you. I have some afterthoughts at the end for some different variations on this soup.
1 pound bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion or yellow onion, diced
1 leek, split lengthwise and slice*
4 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes, diced (really any potato you have will work)
4 cups organic free-range chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups skim milk (can use 1% or 2% milk too)
1 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Optional: 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Finely chopped parsley
In a large stock pan, brown bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain bacon on paper towels. Drain off oil and reserve 1 tablespoon. Saute onion, leek, celery, and garlic until translucent. Add in potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. In a blender, blend together 1 cup frozen corn and 2 cups milk until frothy. Add to soup along with additional cup of frozen corn, cumin, salt and pepper to taste and cayenne if you are using. Be careful with the cayenne, it tends to pick its heat level as it cooks. Make sure to taste the soup to ensure that you have enough salt and pepper; potatoes tend to suck up salt. Warm up soup until just hot, you do not want to bring the soup to a boil once you add in the milk/corn mixture or the soup will break. Add in the reserved bacon. Serve with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
*If you are unfamiliar with leeks, they are a vegetable in the onion family. You will need to split the leek lengthwise and rinse under running water in between the segments. Leeks tend to hold dirt between the segments which can be a little tricky when washing.
Afterthoughts: For those of you that are vegetarians or just watching the calories; feel free to omit the bacon. You can saute the onion, leek, celery and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil. The chicken broth can also be substituted for a tasty vegetable broth or you could use a hearty mushroom broth.